When it comes to long-term medical care, more and more patients are choosing the services of a family practice vs. seeing a variety of medical professionals for different reasons. Why? Because of the many benefits of staying within one practice and all that they offer.
In this post, we’ll examine what family practices do, how a family practice doctor approaches treatment and the importance of developing a relationship with your chosen family practice provider.
What is Family Practice Care?
Family practice care takes a comprehensive approach to treating patients, which includes the clinical, biological and behavioral aspects of science. By not limiting care to one specific discipline and possessing a broad scope of knowledge, the primary care provider can perform a number of services and procedures, including but not limited to:
- Family planning
- Fitness tests
- Lifestyle evaluations
- Minor surgeries
- Integrative Medicine
Some practices also offer classes and tools that can help prevent disease and support healthy lifestyle choices. Shifting from provider-centric care to patient-care gives the person being treated the advantage of their doctor knowing their medical history and any environmental factors that may impact their health.
Who Should Seek Family Practice Care?
Put simply, anyone at any age can benefit from family practice medicine. Family practice doctors and practitioners are qualified to treat everyone from newborns to senior citizens. In some cases, the doctor that treats a pregnant patient will also provide infant care for their newborn and pediatric care as they grow. Several practitioners also treat entire families, which is a plus for all involved because they can offer feedback on collective behaviors that may impact one or more family member’s health.
When Should You Seek Family Practice Care?
As soon as you make the decision to seek family practice care, you should choose a provider. The earlier a family care doctor gets to know you, the sooner they can learn about their behaviors specific to your lifestyle, which could impact your health.
Because of the emphasis on holistic treatment and the ability to identify patterns in a patient’s health history, family practice care providers are better equipped to diagnose issues quickly and provide ways to prevent them before they surface. Furthermore, approaching care in this manner has been proven to save patients time and money.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, for every one primary care doctor added per 10,000 patients, there is a 10% decrease in ER visits and an over 7% decrease in surgeries.
Why is Establishing a Relationship With Your Family Practice Provider Important?
Communication is key to any successful health treatment plan, so establishing a relationship with your family practice provider is vital. The more they know about you, the better chance you have of preventing issues and swiftly treating the ones that may arise.
In addition to the physical benefits, many patients find psychological comfort in being cared for by someone who knows them and their circumstances. Instead of having to constantly educate new medical professionals on their health history, they can simply update their family practice care provider with the latest changes and alert them of any concerns.
With few exceptions, your primary care doctor will also be your first contact at any sign of ailment. In addition to knowing you, they can use technology and the data they’ve gathered about your health in their time treating you to make the best decisions about how to move forward with a treatment plan, even if that means referring you to a specialist for additional care.
Where Can I Learn More?
Visit Western Washington Medical Group Family Practice to learn more, request an appointment, read about our team and get directions to our clinics.